Get That Grant: Tips for Classroom Funding
As a teacher, you open your heart to your students every day. But chances are, you also open your wallet. With budget cuts causing most districts to tighten their belts, you may find you’re paying for more classroom supplies and activities than ever before.
Don’t despair. Financial help is out there, if you know where to look. The sky’s the limit when it comes to grants for teachers. From funding for specific items to field trips, you can find classroom grant ideas for financial support.
There’s a lot of competition for classroom grants for teachers, so follow these suggestions for increasing your chances of winning one:
- Know what you want. Have a specific goal in mind—laptops for your classroom, for example. This makes it easier to focus on grants that can meet your needs.
- Plan ahead. Some grants can take months to process, so don’t expect to win a grant tomorrow that you applied for today. Start thinking about grants for next school year now.
- Do your research. Grantors like to spread the wealth. Before you apply for a grant, research recent winners. If you’re applying for a national grant and you see several winners from your local area, or even your district, that may decrease your chances of winning a grant this year. And don’t limit yourself to national grants. Many local businesses and organizations offer grants that can provide substantial funding for your classroom.
- Make it perfect. Not only do you want to be sure your application is free from typos and grammatical errors, but you also want to take the time to be certain you followed all guidelines and requirements associated with your specific grant’s application.
- Stand out. Make your case—clearly and concisely—for why you need the grant, but also try to add a little flair. Consider what makes your need unique or can set you apart from other applicants.
Check out these classroom grant ideas to get you started:
Kids in Need Foundation
If your classroom needs basic school supplies such as pencils, scissors, paper, and notebooks, the Teacher Supply Boxes program can help. Supplies are provided through the Kids in Need Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to succeed in the classroom.
Target has been supporting the educational community for more than a decade, awarding over $16 million for education improvement. Target field trip grants provide funds for transportation, admission prices, and other field trip expenses.
For more than 20 years, Voya Financial has recognized teachers who are using new teaching methods or techniques to improve student learning. Awards range from $2,000 up to $25,000, and applications are judged on innovation, creativity, and the potential to positively influence students.
Digital Wish Grants
Digital Wish has a mission to provide every child with a technology-rich education. This source of technology grants for teachers provides more than 50 grants, which are awarded based on lesson plans you submit.
To participate, you just need to post your classroom project and funding needs on this site. Interested donors then browse the site, choosing to donate money to your cause.
This is a fundraiser, not a grant, but it’s an easy idea to raise money for your classroom or your school. Just collect used toner and inkjet cartridges for cash, and bring community businesses on board to partner with you to raise even more money. Other fundraisers for your classroom include Box Tops for Education and AmazonSmile.
Grant funding through this foundation provides support for students who are below grade level or who struggle with reading. The foundation has awarded more than $159 million in grants, helping more than 10 million people learn to read.